Got Your Ears On?
Ultralite headsets are simple, robust, and make docking a calm and quiet experience.
Historically, I’ve never been a big fan of headsets like the EarTec UltraLITE units ($335, eartec.com) shown here. I’ve always gone the old-fashioned route, using the spoken word to deal with docking situations, usually via a chat on board well in advance, followed by some quiet (or not so quiet) words during the big event.
Guess what, though? Thanks to a North Florida cruise Managing Editor Simon Murray and I recently took, my opinion of headsets has undergone a radical change. For one thing, the pair of UltraLITEs we used on the jaunt facilitated a level of calm and quiet that was flat-out charming. Indeed, while pulling alongside the wharf at Corky Bell’s Seafood & Steaks in Palatka one afternoon, Simon and I were able to communicate at such a low-decibel level, thanks to five push-button volume settings, that folks nearby didn’t seem to even notice us. And because the headsets were wireless, full-duplex (telephone-like), and contained the rechargeable batteries needed to function, there were no push-to-talk buttons, cords, or other entanglements to deal with.
Further examples of grooviness? First, the construction of our headsets was stout—over the years I’ve seen more than a few virtually new (but much flimsier) units that were more trouble than they were worth because duct-tape-patched headband slides were falling apart, and/or microphones were dangling. Second, operation was absolutely simple. All we had to do was charge our lithium-polymer batteries (you can count on six hours of service, says EarTec), flip a couple of switches, wait for a link (via a blue LED), swing the mic boom to accommodate the chosen ear, and let ’er rip. Simon and I had two units, although up to four can be simultaneously linked. Our headsets came complete with batteries, a plug-in battery charger, and a carrying case.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.